According to Wikipedia, Eris (‘Strife’), the daughter of Night, was personified in her children: painful Ponos (‘Toil/Labor’), Lethe (‘Forgetfulness’), Limos (‘Famine’), tearful Algos (‘Pains/Sorrows’), Hysminai (‘Fightings/Combats’), also Makhai (‘Battles’), Phonoi (‘Murders/Slaughterings’), and Androctasiai (‘Manslaughters’); Neikea (‘Quarrels’), Pseudologoi (‘Lies/Falsehoods’), Amphilogiai (‘Disputes’), Dysnomia (‘Lawlessness’) and Ate (‘Ruin/Folly’), all of one nature, and Horkos (‘Oath’) who most troubles mortals when someone wilfully swears a false oath.
An impressive array of the deities / qualities associated with Strife.
Hence an impressive analysis of the concept of strife and its colorful, variegated repercussions.
What this Wikipedia entry fails to mention is that strife is war. As simple as that. Strife begins with disagreement that degenerates to dissonance, then disharmony, then anger unabated and torrential. Through it, and through the confusion it creates, strife antagonizes everyone’s interests at will, Frustration its middle name.
Strife feeds off insecurity, creating fear and animosity.
Strife relies on jealousy and envy. It creates conflict out of nothing, making enemies among even the closest of friends, among relatives.
Strife engages emotions to the point of unreason and the ill-logic it carries with it, which it so readily foments, seeps into the next person, the next group, into all adjacent cells and bodies, it seeps into them and affects them, infects them, turns them into agents of a contagious dis-ease.
And the disorder, it spreads. Breakdown and insecurity thrive, and strife builds on them. It promises salvation at the next turn of events where resolution awaits, just beyond revolution and conflict. Strife thrives on these conditions. Everything will be alright, it says, so long as the next obstacle is removed. So long as the next blow is delivered and the last of what needs to be said is said, and the last action hero takes the action to end all actions and wars, before falling in the heat of battle; so long as all this is done, and done again and again, everything will turn out fine.
Strife. A masterfully crafted trap. A process of unparalleled craftiness. No match for any person, not even the wisest and most seasoned negotiators of life.
Like a vicious circle, it never ends. With all said and done, with the game played out to the last act and all complications resolved, you’d think it would be gone for good, for a lasting time, at least, but Strife has other plans, more pervasive. It lingers and regenerates itself at will. With every conflict settled, disaffection subsides for a moment, only to rise again anew, impertinent, impulsive, impudent and pernicious, looking for one more outburst, one more curse, one more accident to draw precious blood from, one more opportunity to stir bad blood, to set things against each other, and stir, and stir, until the whole world is a cauldron of foul humor. One more incident to lock horns over and gloss over the pain and make things right, after everyone’s been dragged through the sick process of who said what — he said, she said, my turn, not your turn, be all, end all, live and let cry, let die, die and take others down with you if you’re going down, bring the world down and let history be the judge of what happened.
Thus dis-ease spreads. Dis-order consolidates itself. Strife, also known as Discord, is a cantankerous condition, a self-fulfilling, cunning, vicious, pernicious, voracious circle that enervates and destroys at will, because it was made that way:
Agent provocateur of the highest caliber.
Yet, for all its hazards, Strife has a great utility. Dangerous as it is, exhausting as it is, Strife is the furnace in which a fighting soul is tempered.
Strife is the gauntlet in which those with aspiration and potential toughen their skin, sharpen their skills and develop their character. The battlefield that prepares intelligent agents for the confrontations that matter.
Strife. Those who survive it are rendered fundamentally stronger.
Those who don’t, they serve as a stark reminder to those who do, by merit of their failures, on how not to go about life.
Blessed be the survivors, for they shall see the light of the future, fit as they are to make it through the night.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE